Ever since I became a writer, I’ve been jealous of all the “cool kids” who had a great local coffee shop to call their own. On some level, I was convinced that all the most inspiring conversations and meaningful writing took place with a well-trained barista nearby. Jessica Pinsky, owner/artist at Praxis Fiber Workshop, lends the neighborhood her beautiful gallery space for yoga – and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to a friend, “I wish we could grab a coffee before heading back out into the real world.”
So on March 4, when Six Shooter Coffee celebrated their grand opening in the Waterloo Arts District, I immediately started envisioning all the productive client meetings and relaxing post-yoga pit stops in my future. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing out all my theories on the magical powers of delicious coffee and friendly baristas. The verdict is in: Six Shooter is officially the eastern lakeside’s best place to go for a cup of caffeinated goodness. Whether you’re a writer under deadline (soy latte with a splash of vanilla) or a diet-conscious yogi (vegan treats from Poison Berry Bakery and locally brewed Bearded Buch Kombucha, on tap) owners Peter and Tara Brown are eager to have you visit, chat and feel at home in their new shop.
I’ve visited them in the mid-afternoon with kids in tow, over the weekend with a girlfriend and alone on a Friday night with my laptop. Each time, I was greeted with a smile and felt immediately welcome and relaxed in the clean atmosphere with lots of local details and edgy, beautiful artwork on display. It only takes a brief conversation with Pete to know he’s passionate about two things: good coffee and good people. Peter said he moved to Cleveland because he had always felt like it was a place where quality mattered. Then while looking for a zip code for his business, Valerie Grossman of Brick Ceramics reached out, and he instantly fell in love with the building next to her studio. The two businesses now share gallery/seating space in the back of the building and the Browns live in the upstairs apartment. Why Waterloo? “I knew this was a place where I could be a part of the community and help build something. It has the kind of character and grit that comes from business owners who live and work in their neighborhood” Peter said.
If you’re an east-side commuter, Six Shooter is a short, two-minute drive off I-90 and their expert barista/latte artist/store manager, Sarah Stocum, recommends you try a hopped, nitro-toddy (46 and 2 Brewing, on tap) for a fully-caffeinated start to your day. And don’t worry, there is ample parking right across the street to ensure a quick get-away if you’re headed into work. Or better yet, make Waterloo the next stop on your “must see” list for an afternoon of art or a night out near home. You can visit any of the artist/entrepreneurs I mentioned above and then support Waterloo’s growing community of restaurants and merchants including: Citizen Pie (where the oven-baked pizza speaks for itself), Blue Arrow Records and Boutique, Star Pop Vintage + Modern (toys and vintage treasures). Finish off your day with some up-and-coming indie music or a nationally recognized headliner at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, followed by an adult beverage at The Millard Fillmore Presidential Library.
Did I miss anything fun or interesting? I’d love to hear about your favorite Waterloo merchant. Please check back and tell us how much you enjoyed your visit! Better yet, share this post and tag @sheintheCLE in your Six Shooter latte art on Twitter!